Open countryside

The fields and farms in the parish are largely devoted to raising arable crops such as wheat, barley and oil seed rape, although a few fields are used for livestock or paddocks for horses.

In earlier times traditional farming took place in small fields surrounded by mixed hedgerows, but modern techniques, as elsewhere, have resulted in the cultivation of larger fields. Although this has resulted in the loss of some hedgerows, many remain throughout the parish, particularly alongside tracks, approach roads, footpaths/bridleways and existing and former railway land.

The undulating contours of the surrounding open countryside provide far-reaching attractive views from the higher ground around the town, particularly to the south where there is very little shelter or containment. This does, however, makeWhitchurch susceptible to the strong prevailing winds from the south-west with associated unwelcome increase in the traffic noise from the elevated A34 bypass.

“Many natural features are rapidly disappearing; if we are not careful the surrounding ‘natural’ identity ofWhitchurch will disappear.”
— Design Day comment